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Utah Senate race: A tea party win or a religous one?

Some national news outlets are spinning Mike Lee’s hard fought 51-49 victory over Tim Bridgewater in the Utah Republican Senate primary as a victory for the Tea Party movement.

But the story is more complicated than that.

Both Lee and Bridgewater had endorsements from state and national Tea Party-affiliated groups. Both men ran on virtually identical political platforms.

Lee, a former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, stressed his deep knowledge of and fidelity to the US Constitution, while Bridgewater tended to emphasize his integrity and capability as a self-made businessman.

In the end, the race seemed to come down to who could be tarred as the more “establishment” candidate as well as who could play more effectively to the deeply Mormon Utah GOP.

Read the rest of this story at religiondispatches.org
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